Category Archives: FEATURED

Take 15: Increase in Course Load Can Mean TSU Diploma in Four Years

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – According to figures from Complete College America, if 100 students entered college today in Tennessee, only 17 would graduate on time at a four-year college. Now some of the nation’s top universities and colleges across the country, including Tennessee State University, are prodding lingering students toward the graduation stage to push them to finish their degrees in four years.

It’s a move that aims to change the culture that completing a degree in four years is the exception and not the norm.

Enter the ‘Take 15” program at TSU that encourages students to take enough credits to ensure on-time completion of their degrees. Launched in the fall of 2013 for full-time first-year students, the program has seen an increase of students opting to take at least 15 credits per semester to stay on track to receive their degree in four years.

According to TSU President Glenda Glover, University officials are taking steps to entice students to take at least 15 credit hours per semester and have a plan to complete their degree in the shortest amount of time possible.

“Often times full-time students fail to take enough credits to ensure on-time completion of their degrees,” said Glover. “Students regularly and often unknowingly choose credit loads that put them on five or six-year plans. Through this initiative we are getting the word out that on-time graduation is much more likely when students ‘Take 15’ to finish.”

While there could be many reasons why many students fall into the five or six-year degree trap, most students, according to Dr. John Cade, interim vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Support Services, enter college with a four-year plan, but changing or adding majors, retaking classes or taking time off for personal reasons can quickly extend that plan.

“While getting the most out of a college experience is important, taking additional semesters to earn that degree often means paying more in tuition and fees,” Cade said. “We’ve also seen that at times, the longer it takes students to graduate, the less likely they are to complete a degree.”

Since the initiative first rolled out in fall of 2013, officials at the University have seen an increase in students opting to go the 15-credit route. At that time, 41 percent of undergraduates, or 2,829 of the 6,749 students enrolled at the University, registered for 15 credits or more compared to the previous fall when only 31 percent registered. In just one short year, 35 percent more students were heeding the administration’s awareness initiative to ‘Take 15.’

“These are encouraging numbers,” added Cade. “As we build awareness we expect to see these numbers increase. We are promoting ‘Take 15’ because we are finding students are getting better grades, they are more focused and using their time more efficiently.”

Students, such as Thommye’ Davis, a senior History major, plan to graduate in four years by taking advantage of the Take 15 initiative and registering for 15 credit hours each semester. (courtesy photo)
Students, such as Thommye’ Davis, a senior History major, plan to graduate in four years by taking advantage of the Take 15 initiative and registering for 15 credit hours each semester. (courtesy photo)

Thommye’ Davis, a senior History major, is one of those students who is taking advantage of the initiative, and came to the University with the mindset of completing her degree in four years.

“I’ve been taking 15 credit hours since my freshman year of college,” said the Nashville, Tenn., native, who plans on teaching in the Nashville Metro School system after graduation. “If I wanted to finish in four years I knew that taking 15 credit hours would be the only way I could accomplish my goal.”

In addition to graduating in four years, studies show that students taking 15 or more credit hours tend to have higher grade point averages than those taking less. In fact, at TSU, students taking 15 or more credits averaged a GPA of 3.17 compared to students taking less.

Another reason for the push, Cade added, was the fact that earning a degree in four years is a lot cheaper than earning one in five or six. Students who complete their undergraduate degree in four years instead of six years can save close to $7,000 for in-state tuition or $19,000 for out-of-state students per year.

“The cost of college is high and students often times have to work to help pay the cost of tuition,” said Cade. “That is another advantage to completing a degree in four years. Students who elect to pursue completing their degree in five years incur a year of costs, plus loose a year of potential wages and on-the-job experience.”

The initiative also takes in account the fact that states are not expanding extra resources on higher education. With the passage of the Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010, the state has defined a clear set of directives to address the need for more Tennesseans to be better educated at a time when the state’s fiscal capacity to fund higher education has diminished dramatically.

Considered a national model for increasing the number and quality of college graduates, the CCTA recognized that in the past few years, public universities and colleges have lost a large portion of their state operating revenues. It also established a direct link between the state’s economic development and its educational system.

“We are in the same situation as many colleges and universities across the nation with states significantly cutting spending to education. These cuts and outcome-based funding are the primary drivers of tuition increases,” said Cade. “There is a demand for growth in education in Tennessee and across the country, and through the ‘Take 15’ initiative. We can make sure our students are prepared quicker and with less debt ready to enter the workforce.”

To learn more about the “Take 15” initiative, contact the Advisement Center at 615.963.5531.

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Announces 2014 Homecoming Week Activities

University Celebrates Tradition of Excellence

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READ the full Homecoming Schedule

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will hold a week full of exciting events September 21-27 as community members, alumni and friends of the University come to Nashville to celebrate Homecoming 2014.

Homecoming is a rich, always anticipated tradition of the TSU community. Each fall, Tigers of all generations return to campus to reconnect and share memories. This year, alumni, family and community members will take part in Celebrating the Tradition of Excellence.

“There’s nothing like a Big Blue Homecoming. We look forward to welcoming all of our distinguished alumni back to the University for an exciting week filled with special memories, camaraderie and cheerful giving,” said Cassandra Griggs, director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. “This is the opportunity for alumni to see how their alma mater continues to positively transform the lives of its students, and learn about the outstanding academic programs, talented students and campus enhancements.”

HC7While TSU has cherished and maintained certain Homecoming traditions, it has also moved forward across the century, finding new ways to celebrate pride in the institution, its students and alumni. Innovations that have sprung up over the years include the parade, pep rally, Homecoming Court, tent parties and many additional campus activities.

The annual Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest will officially kick off Homecoming week on Sunday, Sept. 21 beginning at 3 p.m. in the Robert N. Murrell Forum in the Floyd Payne Campus Center. The Gospel Concert rounds out the evening, beginning at 6 p.m. in Kean Hall in the Floyd Payne Campus Center.

HC6Student events highlight Monday, Sept. 22 when the Courtyard Show takes place in Welton Plaza starting at 11 a.m., followed by the Battle of the Residence Halls at 7 p.m. in the Floyd Payne Campus Center Keane Hall gymnasium.

The All-White Glow Tent party will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 23 in Welton Plaza beginning at 7 p.m. The Coronation for Miss TSU and Mr. TSU takes place Wednesday, Sept. 24 in Kean Hall. Wednesday’s activities conclude with the non-Greek organizations’ Yard Show beginning at 9 p.m. in the Averitte Amphitheater.

Homecoming continues Thursday, Sept. 25 with the Agriculture and Home Economics Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction Ceremony at the Farrell-Westbrook Complex at 7 p.m. A Homecoming concert in the Gentry Complex starts at 7 p.m. and features August Alsina and Juicy J. Hosted by Lil Duval. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door for the general public. The evening concludes with the Alumni White-Out Mixer at the Sheraton Music City Hotel Ballroom.

HC1Friday, Sept. 25 kicks off with the traditional Charles Campbell Fish Fry at 11 a.m. on the President’s Lawn, followed by Pep Rally at 11:30 in Hale Stadium. The TSU National Pan-Hellenic Step Show begins at 5 p.m. at the Gentry Complex. Hosted by actress LisaRaye, tickets are $10 for students in advance, $15 at the door.

The evening concludes with the “Evening of Honors” Scholarship Reception and Gala beginning at 6 p.m. at the Music City Center. The night will honor TSU football great and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, Claude Humphrey, and Honors program educators Drs. McDonald and Jamye Williams, who have made advancing education and student success a priority during their more than 30 years at TSU. The evening will also address the needs of students to make sure they have the proper funding to acquire a college education to pursue their career goals and aspirations.

Saturday, Sept. 27 starts with the Homecoming Parade beginning at 9 a.m., followed by the Showcase of Bands at noon at Hale Stadium. The Homecoming football game between TSU and FAMU kicks off at 6 p.m. at LP Field.

View the 2014 Schedule and the campus map. For more information, contact the Office of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at 615.963.5381.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Aristocrat of Bands Marches into History

TSU becomes first collegiate band to perform at Hall of Fame Halftime Show

Tennessee State University's Aristocrat of Bands performance concluded with a tremendous fireworks display during the Pro Foot Ball Hall of Fame Game at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio, on Sunday, August 3. Hall of Fame inductee Claude Humphrey was on the sidelines for the show. (photo by John S. Cross, TSU Media Relations)
Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands performance concluded with a tremendous fireworks display during the Pro Foot Ball Hall of Fame Game at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio, on Sunday, August 3. Hall of Fame inductee Claude Humphrey was on the sidelines for the show. (photos by John S. Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, proved to be better the second time around for the Aristocrat of Bands when they became the first collegiate band to perform the halftime show in the game’s 51-year history.

The TSU marching show band, the only collegiate band ever invited to perform at the Hall of Fame game, was first invited in 2011 when TSU Tiger great and former Chicago Bear Richard Dent was enshrined. However, the Band never made it to the field due to the NFL lockout.

But like a scene from the 2002 movie, “Drumline,” the dynamic group wowed fans with their high-energy show in the Pro Football Hall of Fame stadium parking lot. While hundreds of fans showed up for the performance, it just wasn’t the same as performing at halftime, a show the AOB has become known for both in NFL and college stadiums across the country.

“It was a little disappointing but we were fortunate to be invited back a second time, this time for Claude Humphrey, the second TSU Tiger enshrined into the Hall of Fame,” said Dr. Reginald McDonald, acting director of Bands. “It was important for us to represent the University and to celebrate the achievement of one of our family members.”

The performance by Band, according to officials at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is the first time a University band has played in the nationally televised halftime show at the annual enshrinement game that wraps up a weekend of festivities and induction ceremonies.

They can now add this honor to their already impressive list of firsts, including the first HBCU to play in a presidential inaugural parade in 1961; the first university, black or white, to play an NFL halftime show in 1955; and first HBCU invited to perform at the high school Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis last year.

“It really was an honor to not only perform for the enshrinement of one of TSU’s legendary football players, but also to bring part of the University to Canton and share our showmanship with the country. It’s something our students will never forget,” added McDonald.

AOB2The excitement started as soon as the 294-member Aristocrats ran onto historic Fawcett Stadium, a high school venue that seats only 22,000 fans. When the announcer asked the crowd if they were “ready to start the show,” the stadium erupted into deafening cheers and applause as the band broke into a rendition of “Happy” by Pharrel Williams. The eight-minute show concluded with the introduction of Humphrey, Dent and TSU president, Glenda Glover.

The show and participation in the HOF parade the day earlier, said McDonald, was an opportunity for the band to “puff out their chests.”

“This really was an opportunity to show off to the nation the high-energy showmanship of the Aristocrat of Bands,” he said. “I’ve been at the University for 14 years and director for four, and I can say this group is going to be a very special group this year and beyond.”

The Aristocrat of Bands now shifts their attention toward the John Merritt Classic halftime show at LP Field, Saturday, August 30.

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State’s Community College Initiative Fulfills Dream for Many Seeking Four-Year Degree

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When Tiffani Clark decided to go back to college at age 28, she wanted to make sure that her tuition was affordable, she could attend classes close to home, as well as have the ability to easily transfer her community college credits to a university.

Clark did not have to look far.  Just a few miles from her Gallatin, Tennessee home, a 2+2 partnership educational program between Volunteer State Community College and Tennessee State University afforded her the opportunity she was seeking.

“I’m married with two small boys which made it difficult at times to get my college education,” said Clark. “Through the 2+2 and fast track programs, I was able to obtain my associate degree and continue my four-year degree with Tennessee State University. It’s challenging, but it’s a great program for me to be able to finish my bachelors degree in criminal justice.”

According to University officials, TSU is now creating more partnerships and programs with community colleges around the state to help students such as Clark, transfer seamlessly to the University to complete a four-year degree. Under the Community College Initiative, students have more options to move them along through their educational career.

Dr. Sharon Peters, director of the Community College Initiative Program, said the new initiative “just makes sense and is truly one of those win-win situations for everyone involved.”

“More and more students are choosing to pursue community college, as opposed to a university, right out of high school or as a nontraditional student because community colleges tuition costs are 50 percent less than four-year institutions,” said Peters. “Once they get their associate degree they will enter TSU as a junior and spend two years here, providing them with an opportunity to get their four-year degree from TSU.”

IMGP3189_2According to a report from the National Center for Education Statistics, as of fall 2012, 40 percent of all college undergraduates were enrolled in community colleges. TSU, added Peters, is committed to partnering with the Tennessee community colleges to create programs and initiatives focused on increasing the number of students prepared for transfer to the University.

“These programs and initiatives raise student achievement levels, close achievement gaps and successfully prepare a diverse population of students for academic and professional success,” said Peters. “Transfer preparation programs provide services such as regular and sustained advising, mentoring and early identification to improve student outcomes.”

According to Peters, the University is reaching out to all 13 community colleges around the state to develop long-lasting partnerships and relationships. Currently there are agreements with Volunteer State, Nashville State, Columbia State and Motlow State Community Colleges, with hopes to sign agreements with five additional institutions within the next year.

Programs through the initiative include the dual admission program where students gain early admission to TSU while completing an associate degree. These students receive a limited use student ID card that allows them to attend cultural and sporting events.  They also meet with TSU advisors early in their community college career.

One of the most popular programs is the 2+2 program, where students complete all four years at their community college. The program follows a national trend where professors from universities including TSU, are increasingly traveling to teach on the community college campuses, offering bachelor’s programs as part of new partnerships with two-year schools.

After completing an associate’s degree, community college students can transfer to a four-year program and complete a university bachelor’s degree right where they are. Currently TSU has partnerships with Volunteer State that offers the 2+2 program in Elementary Education, Criminal Justice and Nursing, and Criminal Justice at Motlow State Community College. Additional 2+2 programs in the near future are planned in Business, Health Sciences and Urban Studies.

Through these programs, students have numerous options to complete their four-year education, and help students who aspire to attend TSU save money by paying lower tuition at a community college for up to two years before transitioning to the University.

“That is exactly why I decided to go the 2+2 route,” said James Murphy, a junior Criminal Justice major who attends Volunteer State Community College and will graduate in December with a Bachelor of Science degree from TSU.

Murphy decided to stay on the campus for his TSU degree because it would be more convenient and cost less.

“The program has allowed me to work a fulltime job and take a full class schedule,” Murphy said. “Without it, I don’t think I would have been able to afford to go to school and finish my degree. Plus the instructors were very knowledgeable, the class sizes are usually small, and teacher-student interaction is encouraged.”

These new relationships and initiatives, Peters added, are programs that specifically focus on the Community Colleges and their needs, but also the needs of the larger community. And with Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s “Drive to 55” education initiative, TSU is prime to help lead the way for not only higher education, but for workforce and economic development.

“Of course we want to see growth in the number of transfer students that choose TSU, and a growth in the number of partnerships. More importantly we want to see partnerships between community college faculty and university faculty whereby they engage in joint research and curriculum design,” Peters said. “These types of partnerships benefit the students, the community and the state in our effort to insure that the majority of our citizens have a college degree.”

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Earning Degree in Sociology Made Easy With Tennessee State University Online Classes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Whether you are a deployed-military personnel or spouse, a non-traditional student, or just overwhelmed with life’s activities to complete that sociology degree that has eluded you for years, TSU has just the answer for you.

Yes…online!

“Our program is now completely online,” said Dr. Oscar Miller, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology, Social Work and Urban Professions.

He said with all of the general education courses also offered online, busy students can now earn their bachelor’s degree in sociology without sitting in a classroom.

“All you need is access to a computer and the Internet; it is that simple,” Miller said.

With the uncertainty that comes with a military deployment – when families don’t know when or where their next assignment will be – or a nontraditional student who can’t find the time to finish their degree in a traditional setting, the online program offers just the right opportunity.

Shaconya Freeman, 38, of Springfield, Tennessee, agrees.

Shaconya Freeman, with her children and godson following her graduation with an associate’s degree from Volunteer State Community College, has been admitted into the TSU online sociology program this fall. (courtesy photo)
Shaconya Freeman, with her children and godson following her graduation with an associate’s degree from Volunteer State Community College, has been admitted into the TSU online sociology program this fall. (courtesy photo)

“This just works better for me,” said Freeman, a transfer student from Volunteer State Community College, where she earned her associate’s degree in sociology almost entirely online.

The mother of three, including an 11-year-old daughter, said between a demanding full-time job as an office manager in a doctor’s office, caring for her young child, a babysitter, homework and studying, there is very little time left to sit in a classroom.

“I tried taking some of my courses on the (Volunteer State) campus once and that was just too hectic for me,” Freeman said.

According to Miller, the demand for people with background in sociology is on the rise and projected to grow even higher. The overall goal of the TSU online program, he said, is to target military personnel and their spouses, as well as nontraditional students and “degree completers” like Freeman to provide them with the skills they need to be successful.

“Federal, state, and local government agencies, non-profit human and social services organizations and private sector companies are hiring sociology majors for their competencies in critical thinking, research and data analysis, group/team behavior, and cultural diversity,” Miller said.

Dr. Oscar Miller, Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology, Social Work and Urban Professions, right, congratulates Austin Wyatt after his (Wyatt) graduation with a B.S. degree in Sociology from TSU last May.  Wyatt, a nontraditional student and married father of two children, earned his degree entirely online. (courtesy photo)
Dr. Oscar Miller, Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology, Social Work and Urban Professions, right, congratulates Austin Wyatt after his (Wyatt) graduation with a B.S. degree in Sociology from TSU last May. Wyatt, a nontraditional student and married father of two children, earned his degree entirely online. (courtesy photo)

Austin Wyatt, a May 2014 TSU graduate with a B.S. in sociology, said his degree, earned entirely online, has opened doors to him that would not have been possible otherwise.

“It has enabled me to move away from the manual laborer status into an area where I can now pursue my interest and help me to provide for my family in a more meaningful way,” said Wyatt, a married father of two, who will begin a master’s degree program in anthropology at the University of Memphis this fall.

Calling his TSU degree a launching pad for a successful future career, the Starkville, Mississippi native, who now calls Memphis, Tennessee home, said he made some bad choices earlier in life that got him “off course” and nearly caused him to lose his family.

“With a child and wife, and working menial jobs, it hit me that I needed to do something to be a better provider for my family,” Wyatt said. “I was fortunate to find out that I could keep my busy schedule of working and help with the home and take classes right at home.”

Wyatt’s goal, he said, is to be an inspiration to others who think there is no way out because of mistakes of the past, or just having too much to do to find the time to earn a degree.

“It’s either I was going to lose my family or make some quick decisions. I decided to enroll in the TSU sociology program, and that’s the best decision I ever made. I am glad I did,” Wyatt added.

“And these are just the kind of people the program is designed to help,” Miller said, describing Wyatt as a “TSU success story.”

He said sociology is helping the skilled workforce demand of the nation by supplying leaders, managers, workers, and entrepreneurs who use their expertise and competencies to help organizations and communities improve.

“Sociology skills help our majors successfully adapt within our ever changing organizations and the dynamic labor market,” Miller added.

The Tennessee Board of Regents approved the online degree in sociology in 2011 and completed final preparations to offer the degree in the fall 2012. The program, one of many degrees offered online at TSU, currently has 15 students, Miller said.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Pride Celebrated as TSU Great Claude Humphrey Enters the Pro Foot Ball Hall of Fame

Claude Humphrey
After nearly 30 years, TSU great Claude Humphrey took his rightful place in the NFL Hall of Fame Saturday, Aug. 2 in Canton, Ohio. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – “TSU Pride” was front and center Saturday in Canton, Ohio, when Tiger great Claude Humphrey was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in front of thousands of spectators including family members, friends and Tennessee State University fans lead by President Glenda Glover.

“This is the proudest day in my life,” Dr. Glover said of the induction of her fellow Memphis, Tennessee, hometown native. “This very well deserved tribute to Claude Humphrey is beyond measure. I am just too proud to see this former Tiger and a product of Memphis, where I am from to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame.”

TSU President Glenda Glover (center) welcomes TSU great Claude Humphrey (left)  to the NFL Hall of Fame Saturday, Aug. 2.  Humphrey is the second TSU Tiger enshrined into the Hall, including Richard Dent (right) Class of 2011. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)
TSU President Glenda Glover (center) welcomes TSU great Claude Humphrey (left) to the NFL Hall of Fame Saturday, Aug. 2. Humphrey is the second TSU Tiger enshrined into the Hall, including Richard Dent (right) Class of 2011. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“I have so many mixed emotions right now,” Humphrey said, as he received and unveiled his bust that will be displayed in the Hall of Fame Museum alongside many other football greats before him. “I didn’t expect to get here, but I am sure glad that I did.”

Humphrey’s induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is the second for a former Tiger, and it comes just three years after fellow defensive lineman Richard Dent was enshrined in 2011.

WATCH the complete acceptance speech OR READ the transcript

While many said Humphrey’s induction was long overdue, coming 33 years after he left the game, others saw it as a special moment for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, with the enshrinement of three HBCU graduates on the same day. Michael Strahan, a graduate of Texas Southern University, as well as Aeneas Williams, from Southern University, were also inducted alongside Humphrey.

“I am so happy for Claude, and it really speaks to the type of program we had at Tennessee State, having two players in the Hall of Fame,” said Dent, of his fellow Tiger. “It was a long-time coming, but well-deserved.”

Humphrey, Strahan and Williams were three of seven to be inducted on Saturday, joining Derrick Brooks, Ray Guy, Walter Jones and Andre Reed.

Humphrey adresses the crowd during his enshrinement ceremony into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Humphrey played for TSU as a defensive tackle from 1964 through 1967, and played 13 seasons in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)
Humphrey adresses the crowd during his enshrinement ceremony into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Humphrey played for TSU as a defensive tackle from 1964 through 1967, and played 13 seasons in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

In his 30-minute speech, Humphrey paid tribute to his alma mater, making special references to President Glover for being present at the enshrinement, and his former coach, the late John Merritt, whom he described as “the greatest coach in black college football.”

“A lot of recruiters came to visit me, but none like John Merritt,” Humphrey said of his former coach and collegiate playing career. “To me, he was the greatest. We lost a total of five games in four years.”

Humphrey, the former Atlanta Falcon, who retired with the Philadelphia Eagles, was a three-time All-American defensive tackle at TSU from 1964 to 1967. He ended his collegiate career as the all-time leader in sacks at TSU with 39. He is tied for second behind Lamar Carter along with fellow TSU legend Richard Dent.

Humphrey was selected in the first round of the 1968 NFL Draft going third overall to the Atlanta Falcons. During his rookie season in Atlanta, he was named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Humphrey played 13 seasons in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons (1968-74, 76-77) and the Philadelphia Eagles (1979-81).

While with Atlanta, he was named All-NFL or All-Pro eight times and was selected to the Pro Bowl on six different occasions.

Humphrey is only the second Falcon to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Ben Ray Harrell, ’70, a brother of Humphrey’s late wife Sandra, called the newly inductee “just an all over great guy.”

“This day is so fitting and could not have happened to a better person than Claude Humphrey,” said Harrell. “If there is anything that is missing here today is his wife not being here by his side. They loved each other very much.”

Nashville Councilman Howard Gentry ’74, ‘04, who presented a proclamation to Humphrey on behalf of the City Council, described the enshrinement as a fulfillment of former TSU President Walter Davis’ (1943-1968) dream for TSU to not just be recognized as a great sports program among “black schools,” but a great program compared to any in the nation.

“Claude’s induction and that of Richard Dent three years ago are an embodiment of that dream, and I couldn’t be prouder of their achievement” Gentry said.

Tony Wells ’92, president of the Tennessee State University National Alumni Association, like President Glover, said the enshrinement of Humphrey was a very proud moment for the whole TSU family.

“His mention of TSU, President Glover, and his days at the institution (during his speech) before the whole world was an indication of his pride and his appreciation for the preparation he received at the school,” said Wells. “I couldn’t be prouder as I am today.”

Dr. Reginald McDonald, Acting Band Director, waves to the crowd as the Aristocrat of Bands marches by during the Pro Football Hall of Fame parade in downtown Canton, Ohio Saturday, Aug. 2. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)
Dr. Reginald McDonald, Acting Band Director, waves to the crowd as the Aristocrat of Bands marches by during the Pro Football Hall of Fame parade in downtown Canton, Ohio Saturday, Aug. 2. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Also toting the “TSU Pride” was the University’s 290-member marching show band, the Aristocrat of Bands, which put up a crowd-pleasing performance to thunderous, continuous cheers during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Parade in downtown Canton Saturday. The band also put up another non-stop cheering, eight-minute performance during the half-time show of the nationally televised Hall of Fame game between the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills at Fawcett Stadium.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Aristocrat of Bands Brings High-Energy Show to Pro Foot Ball Hall of Fame Game Aug. 3

The Aristocrat of Bands perform last year during halftime of one of the home football games at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee. The Band has been invited to perform a halftime show during the nationally televised game Sunday, Aug. 3 during the NFL Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The Band will be in Canton to celebrate the enshrinement of TSU's great Claude Humphrey into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
The Aristocrat of Bands perform last year during halftime of one of the home football games at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee. The Band has been invited to perform a halftime show during the nationally televised game Sunday, Aug. 3 during the NFL Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The Band will be in Canton to celebrate the enshrinement of TSU’s great Claude Humphrey into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – They have marched and performed all across the country, from presidential inaugurations and marching competitions to nationally televised NFL halftime shows, as well as movie and concert venues.

Now the Aristocrat of Bands from Tennessee State University will head north later this summer to celebrate TSU’s great Claude Humphrey’s enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The band will perform in the nationally televised halftime show of the Hall of Fame game on Sunday, Aug. 3 in Canton, Ohio.

When Dr. Reginald McDonald found out that one of TSU’s own was going to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, he knew the band had to be part of the celebration.

“As soon as we heard that Claude Humphrey was one of the seven NFL legends to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, we knew we had to be there,” said McDonald, acting Director of Bands. “It is important for us to represent the University to celebrate the achievement of one of our family members.”

McDonald found out the band would be the featured halftime performance the day after Super Bowl XLVIII and immediately began thinking about what they could do to make the performance memorable. However since the band was heavily into the spring semester, plans would be put on hold until this summer when members of the band return to school.

Once they do return, it will be a quick and steep learning curve, McDonald explained since they have less than three weeks to gel together as a full band when the freshmen and the upperclassmen practice as one unit.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to show off to the nation the high energy showmanship of the Aristocrat of Bands,” added McDonald. “We have about two weeks to put together an eight-minute show but we will definitely be ready. I know the people in Canton will be impressed by what we bring.”

This is the Bands’ second NFL halftime performance in less than a year. Last September, the band was invited to perform during the nationally televised game between the San Francisco 49ers and the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome.

McDonald added it’s a lot of work preparing for halftime shows during the TSU football season along with the additional pressure of the NFL shows. But he knows it’s more than just a performance. It is also a venue to bring the TSU brand, he said, to those outside the state.

“This is an opportunity for us to recruit in a different area, perform in a different part of the country that we usually don’t get to, and show that TSU is the best marching and performing band in the country,” he said.

Since its inception in 1946, and subsequently becoming a show band under the administration of second TSU President Dr. Walter S. Davis, the Aristocrat of Bands has been featured at many international and national events, including half-time shows at several NFL games, Bowl games and Classics, and Presidential Inaugurations – the latest that of Bill Clinton in 1993.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

2014 TSU Small Farms Expo and Farmer of the Year Recognition Expected to Draw More than 400 on July 17

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NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – About 400 agricultural experts, farmers and officials from across Tennessee are expected to attend this year’s Small Farms Expo and Small Farmer of the Year Recognition program at Tennessee State University.

The Expo, hosted by the TSU College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences Cooperative Extension Program, opens on Thursday, July 17, at the Agricultural Research and Education Center on the main campus.

Sponsors include the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, University of Tennessee Extension, the Tennessee Farm Bureau, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Farm Services Bureau, among others.

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Hydroponic farming, the process of producing crop without the benefit of water, was one of the major highlights of the 2013 Small Farms Expo. Here graduate students explain the process to visitors during the exhibition. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Featured research and discussions will focus on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in corn croplands, enhancing sustainable production of bioenergy crops, pigeon pea production for limited resources farmers of Tennessee, and enhancing plant protection against fungal diseases and environmental stresses. Workshops will include organic vegetable production techniques, pesticide handling and safety, honey production and extraction techniques, new equipment technologies for small producers, and soil and plant tissue sampling, among others.

How to fund your operation, the do’s and don’ts of organizing and managing a community garden, as well as how small farmers can move their operation into the Internet age will also be discussed.

According to organizers, the Expo will be highlighted by the Small Farmer Recognition and Award ceremony that will include the President of TSU, Dr. Glenda Glover; Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Julius Johnson; the President of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation, Dr. Tim Cross; and Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resources.

More details on the Expo can be found at http://www.tnstate.edu/extension/smallfarmexpo.aspx

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Receives National Weather Service StormReady Designation During Packed Campus Ceremony

Storm Ready-7
Tom Johnstone, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service, left, presents the StormReady designation plaque to Dr. Curtis Johnson, Associate Vice President and Head of Emergency Management at TSU. Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is well prepared to protect its students, faculty and staff from severe weather, the National Weather Service announced Thursday, July 10, when it designated the University as a StormReady institution.

The NWS said TSU has met all the “rigorous criteria” for a StormReady designation by developing an all-hazard safety plan and communications infrastructure, as well as actively promoted all hazardous weather safety through public awareness activities and training.

“There is nothing more important than keeping our community of students, faculty and staff safe on our campus,” said Dr. Glenda Glover, President of Tennessee State University. “This designation shows that we are holding to our commitment to parents and other community stakeholders that TSU is doing everything possible to ensure a safe and secure environment for our students.”

Storm Ready
Tennessee State University officials receive the StormReady certification from officials of the National Weather Service and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. From left are Tom Johnstone, NWS; Thomas Graham, TSU assistant director of Emergency Management; Dr. Curtis Johnson, TSU; Brittney Coleman, NWS Meteorologist; Chris Johnson, TEMA Middle Tennessee Regional Director; and Brent Morse, Area Coordinator for TEMA. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

At a presentation ceremony on campus, Tom Johnstone, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service, congratulated the University for receiving the StormReady designation. He applauded the administration, the Emergency Management team and staff for their dedication and hard work in “putting all the right pieces together” to achieve the designation.

“Tennessee State University is prepared for the StormReady designation,” Johnstone declared.  “It took tremendous work to fine-tune all that was necessary to earn the certification required for this designation, and this university and this community need to be congratulated for a great job.”

Dr. Curtis Johnson, associate vice president for Administration, who is in charge of Emergency Management, thanked the campus police, students and staff for their cooperation in doing what was necessary to earn the NWS certification.

“Being storm ready reaffirms Tennessee State University’s commitment to protection of life and property, and all of you have been helpful in allowing us to achieve that,” Johnson said. “We look forward to making TSU and the community better and safer.”

As a mark of designation and recognition, Johnson announced that the NWS StormReady signage would be placed at the two major entrances to the University.

NWS meteorologist Brittney Coleman, while acknowledging that natural disasters are inevitable, said preparing for them must always be taken seriously.

“Tennessee State University has really done a tremendous job in preparing itself and the community in the case of bad weather,” Coleman said. “We have been working with the campus team to make sure we had everything in place to be ready for this designation. All residence halls now have weather alert radios to keep them connected to the National Weather Service in case of emergency.”

Also participating in the ceremony were representatives from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, who lauded the agency’s partnership with the University. They were Middle Tennessee Regional Director, Chris Johnson; and Area Coordinator, Brent Morse.

Speaking on behalf of the community, the Reverend Jimmy D. Greer Sr., pastor of Nashville’s Friendship Baptist Church, thanked the University for its community partnership.

“We applaud Dr. Glover for holding up to her commitment since arriving at this campus to ensure that the community is actively involved in any endeavor necessary for the promotion of this university,” Greer said. “We thank the university, the National Weather Service, TEMA and all the people that took part in making this achievement possible.”

Dr. Mark Hardy, vice president for Academic Affairs, representing Dr. Glover, who was traveling, said TSU’s effort in ensuring a safe weather environment for its faculty, staff and student, ties in with some major research efforts at the University.

Specifically, the vice president mentioned a more than $200,000 National Science Foundation-funded on-going research project in the College of Engineering to develop a simulation model that would help predict storm surge in a timely manner to better prepare inland and coastal dwellers for the storm.

“An assistant professor of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (Muhammad Akbar) is using computational fluid dynamics and mathematical models to predict flooding caused by storm surges that bring ocean water onto land, causing major devastation, and erosion to cities and coastal wetlands,” said Hardy. He thanked NWS for the recognition, adding that the StormReady designation “speaks to the volume of work we are doing not to only provide a safe environment for our students, but to also give them the highest quality of education.”

The packed ceremony in the President’s Dining Room on the main campus brought together an array of state, local and community partner leaders and representatives, including the office of Congressman Jim Cooper, and the Executive Director of Nashville JUMP (Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership), Sharon Hurt.

TSU is one of only seven institutions in the State to receive the StormReady University designation.

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

TSU Goes Digital with Book Bundle Initiative

Effort aims to reduce high cost of traditional textbooks

 

Incoming freshman students demonstrate book bundle, a digital cost-saving textbook initiative at Tennessee State University, to TBR Chancellor John Morgan during the Board’s recent quarterly meeting at the University. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)
Incoming freshman students demonstrate book bundle, a digital cost-saving textbook initiative at Tennessee State University, to TBR Chancellor John Morgan during the Board’s recent quarterly meeting at the University. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will be on the digital cutting edge this fall semester when it begins offering electronic books as part of a book-bundle initiative aimed at lowering the cost of traditional “paper” books.

The plan will allow freshman and sophomore students to buy “e-books” for general education classes, saving students up to $735 per semester.

According to University officials, a large number of students enrolled in classes do not purchase text books due to lack of funds, delay in receiving funds, or simply hold back on buying them for weeks.

“Many of our students would go weeks before they even purchase a text book, which in turn hurts them in the classroom,” said Dr. Glenda Glover, President of TSU. “This new program allows students to have books the first day of class and gives them the ability to be successful since they will have the required materials.”

She went on to say that as the leader of the University, it is her responsibility to find cost-cutting measures to save students money.

“TSU is really on the cutting edge with this new program,” added Glover. “Not only will it save money for many of our incoming freshmen and some first-generation students, but it will also help faculty bridge the digital divide and reach our students across digital platforms.”

Under the new program, students will pay a flat fee of $365 per semester that is included in their tuition and fees, and have access to the required digital textbooks for classes taken. The fee includes all textbooks in the general education core for students taking 12-16 semester hours. For students who want print copies of books, they will be available for an additional $15-30 charge.

Lauren Thomas, like many students today, uses her mobile tablet to not only stay connected, but also read everything from the newspapers and magazines to checking her email and scrolling through the Internet. It’s a device that the TSU Mass Communications major can’t live without.

“These mobile devices are always with us, so the idea of being able to read your class assignments directly from your tablet is a great idea,” said the SGA vice president. “I only wish we had this program when I was an underclassman.”

According to Dr. Alisa Mosley, associate vice president of Academic Affairs, the book-bundle program will be implemented in two phases this fall starting with freshmen and sophomores taking general education courses. Phase II will include juniors and seniors and focus on upper division and core courses required for their majors.

“The savings are incredible to our students,” explained Mosley. “The average cost of books alone ranges between $800 to $1,100 per semester. We are meeting the needs of our students and giving them the necessary tools to be successful. Studies have shown that students who have their books are more engaged and more successful when they have access to materials and do far better in their academic career.”

TSU is unique in the fact that the University is offering e-books for all general education classes, and it is the only university offering the book-bundle initiative in the Tennessee Board of Regents higher education system.

“When we started this project, we were told by numerous book publishers that this had never been done before,” added Mosley. “This was a massive undertaking to implement. We specifically decided to go with the digital books not only as an alternative to more costly traditional paper books, but also to meet students in the digital age.”

The program, according to Mosley, is already receiving attention from other institutions.

“Some of our sister institutions are already asking how they can implement the same program,” said Mosley. “We really are on the cutting-edge with this program. We want to remove any barriers that would impede students from being successful and this is just another way TSU is on the forefront of higher education.”

Statistics indicate electronic books, or e-books, are gaining popularity among college-aged students and educators, including those at TSU. While e-books currently account for only 6 percent of textbook sales at university bookstores, that number is growing, but primarily in certain disciplines.

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.